Even though Nascar and the media are hyping The Ford EcoBoost 400 as a one race shootout with the 2012 Sprint Cup Title as the grand prize, I think Jimmie Johnson’s chances ended in the wall at Phoenix last week. A twenty point hill to climb in one race, is a tough position to be in. For all practical purposes, if Brad Keselowski doesn’t show up, he might have a chance.
Just imagine the history that will go in the books today if Brad can pull it off. Rusty Wallace was never able to take the Blue Duece to the promise land, and win a championship for Roger Penske and the Miller Lite Dodge. Rusty won the Winston Cup Championship back in 1989, but he was driving the #27, Pontiac for Blue Max Racing, and owner Raymond Beadle at the time.
Secondly, there has not been a Dodge winning a Cup Championship since Richard Petty drove his Dodge Charger to victories in 1974 and 1975. Bobby Isaac won the 1970 title in a Dodge Charger, and David Pearson won a title for Cotton Owens in 1966 in a Dodge Charger. Ricahrd Petty won six of his seven Cup Titles in either a Dodge or Plymouth, but won his seventh and final championship in a Monte Carlo.
Roger Penske, who is in his second stint with Nascar, looks to finally win his first Sprint Cup Championship. Roger gave up in 1977, and sold his equipment to the Elliott brothers. His first Nascar team was started in 1972, and featured Mark Donahue, Dave Marcis, and the Allison Brothers. He returned in 1991 with Rusty Wallace, and a huge sponsorship with Miller Brewing. He won the 2008 Daytona 500 with Ryan Newman.
In his third full year at the Sprint Cup level, Brad Keselowski has proven to be a formidable competitor with five victories. The 28 year old driver from Rochester Hills, Michigan ran two races in 2008, and only ran 15 races in 2009, wining the the Aarons 499 at Talladega. He went winless in his first full season(2010), and finished the year in 25th place. He rebounded last year with three wins, and a fourth place finish in the Cup points behind Kevin Harvick.
What a lot of people don’t remember about Jimmie Johnson, is after running only three races in his inaugural 2001 season, he finished second to Matt Kenseth in the 2003 season, and second again to Kurt Busch in 2004 by eight points, which was at the time, the closest finish in history since Alan Kulwiki won by 10 points in the 1992 championship. He finished the the 2003 campaign a whopping 90 points behind Kenseth, so we were 98 points away from Jimmie running the 2012 schedule to tie Richard Petty, and Dale Earnhardt with seven titles.
You might remember in an earlier blog, I pointed out that I had BK in the Chase pool at the Watering Hole, but didn’t think he could outlast the five time champ, but guess what?…..Kaching!!
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